How to repel mice

Updated April 17, 2017

Mice might look cute, but they can be harmful pests that destroy household items, eat and mess with food and can spread severe diseases through their faeces and the parasites they carry. Here are some useful tips on how to repel house mice.

Use peppermint to repel mice. Mice hate the smell of peppermint. Position peppermint plants near wall corners. Pour generous amounts of peppermint oil on cotton balls. Place the saturated cotton balls on areas where mice are possibly seen--around counter tops, under the sofas in your living room, behind shelves, wall corners or on the floor beneath your kitchen sink.

Use bay leaves to repel mice. Dry them, crush them into powder and sprinkle them on kitchen floors and pantries.

Get rid of food and water sources. One of the top reasons why mice invade your home is because of easy access to food and water. To prevent this from happening, you have to observe cleanliness and proper sanitation around your home. Vacuum or sweep around kitchen floors, under refrigerators and stoves, around food cabinets or pantries and below dining tables to get rid of food crumbs.

Store food in airtight containers. Avoid leaving unwashed dishes in your sink overnight. Thoroughly wipe your dining table, stoves and counter tops. Tightly seal garbage bins and bags in or outside your home. Empty the dishes of your pets after they are done eating and see to it that their food is properly stored. Fix any leaking faucets around your home and close your shower, sink and bathtub drains when not in use.

Block all points of entry around your home. This is by far the most effective way of preventing mice from entering your home. Mice can squeeze into holes of about ΒΌ inch, so make sure to properly seal any existing cracks around the foundations of your home. Mice can use shrubs to climb on torn screens or cracks on window sills. Trim shrubs, or better yet, remove overgrowing shrubs around your home. Close the gaps around the sidings of your doors or windows and install some tight-fitting screens for further protection. Cover openings around electric, water and gasoline lines using steel wools or copper mesh.

Remove any potential sources of shelter. Stacked up materials such as old shoe boxes, paper bags, magazines and newspapers are ideal homes for mice. The same goes for old boards and junk cars in your garage and piles of wood and lumber outside your house.

Use live traps. This is considered to be the most humane method for getting rid of mice in your home. Just set the traps against wall corners or other areas where you have seen mice. Inspect your traps every now and then to see if there's a mouse in one of them. If there is, place a used cloth or old towel over the trap to keep the mouse calm. Dispose the captured mouse by taking it to a wooded area miles away from your home to prevent a new infestation. You can purchase live traps at hardware stores or online.

Create your own mouse trap. You can use small deep buckets as live traps. Place some peanut butter close to the rim of the bucket--this will serve as your bait. Then pile up some unused books or boxes beside your bucket--this will serve as the stairs for the mouse to climb and get to the bucket. After preparing enough home-made mouse traps, position them in wall corners, in dark rooms or other areas where you have seen signs of mice. Make sure to check your trap a few times a day. If one of your traps captured a mouse, take the mouse to a wooded area miles away from your home.

Position some snap traps around the corners of your home. A snap trap is less humane than a live trap since it causes death of a captured mouse in a flash. However, compared to glue boards, snap traps are considered more human because death of a captured mouse is instantaneous. Make sure to set there spring right, so that the trigger can snap directly on the captured mouse. Place your snap traps on wall corners or any areas where you have seen mice. Check them every now and then to see if there's a captured mouse. If there is, dispose the dead mouse immediately by placing it in a sealed bag, and take it on the garbage outside your house.


Other than peanut butter, you can also use dried fruits, bacon strips and chocolates as mice baits. Using cheese for bait is not a good idea because it gets spoiled too quickly leaving a rotten smell inside your home.

Using poison is not an ideal way to get rid of mice. The common type of poison use to kill a mouse is the kind that causes it to bleed internally. This can take a lot of days until the mouse dies on its nest or anywhere else in your home--leaving an unpleasant stench that lasts for days. And adding to the problem of the terrible odour is, you don't know where to trace it since it can be inside the walls of your home. Another problem about using poison is, it can be fatal for children and pets.


Ultrasonic rodent repellent can be effective to repel mice. But this device can potentially harm your house pets such as cats, dogs, guinea pigs and gerbils.

Things You'll Need

  • Peppermint plants
  • Peppermint oil and cotton balls
  • Bay leaves
  • Steel wool or copper mesh
  • Live traps
  • Small bucket, peanut butter and boxes
  • Snap traps
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About the Author

Wirnani Garner holds a Bachelor of Science degree in physical therapy and works in the medical profession. Her articles focus on health-related subjects, though Garner is proficient in researching and writing about a diverse range of topics.